African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia on Thursday debunked allegations that its forces provided support to the Somali government and Galmudug forces, who had been battling Ahlu Sunna fighters in the town of Guriel.
The accusations are “false”, toxic and malicious,” with an intention to cause disaffection between Amisom and the Somali communities, the AU peacekeeping mission said.
The statement comes after Ahlu Sunna group claimed that the AU peacekeepers had assisted the Somali army in an offensive that has forced the rebel group’s fighters to vacate their positions in the town after four day long battle.
“Amisom operation, including military operation and support to SSF, are guided by the mandate provided by the AU Peace and Security Council and UN Security Council. They are implemented in strict observation of the approved concept of operation and rules of engagement,” Amisom said in a statement.
“In a fulfilment of the mandate, Amisom reinforced its forces in Dhusamareb for the purpose of securing the on-going electoral process as part of the National Elections Security Taskforce Strategy.
These Amisom Forces operate under very strict instruction. They have not provided support to the government of Somalia at either national or regional level to fight Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, nor have they, in any way, been involved in the bloody skirmishes between the government and Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a in Guriel town or elsewhere.
Amisom had stressed that it constantly urged both sides to stop the fighting and end their dispute by peaceful means.